Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Republican Leadership Refuses to Bring Popular Anti Cockfighting and Dogfighting Bill to Vote

Just amazing that these guys will not even bring this up for a vote. I thought this was supposed to be a democracy. How a group or cabal can hold up legislation that 75% (a very clear majority) of representatives co-sponsored is beyond me. Shows how the system really works.

Here’s a few points about the bill:

It is already illegal to ship animals for fighting to the United States and across state lines, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The proposed legislation would make the violation a felony, with jail time of up to two years.

Green's bill would increase penalties for transporting animals across state lines and from other countries for fighting. It has 324 co-sponsors in the House - nearly 75 percent of the body. But Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has refused to bring the bill up for a vote before his panel.

Article:

Group Urges Vote on Animal Fighting Bill

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6105123,00.html

Tuesday September 26, 2006 1:16 AM

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers and an animal rights group are pushing GOP leadership to hold a vote this week on legislation aimed at stemming cockfighting and dogfighting.

The push on Rep. Mark Green's bill comes as his fellow Wisconsin Republican, Jim Sensenbrenner, opposes a vote.

Green's bill would increase penalties for transporting animals across state lines and from other countries for fighting. It has 324 co-sponsors in the House - nearly 75 percent of the body. But Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has refused to bring the bill up for a vote before his panel.

Proponents are now hoping to bypass Sensenbrenner and bring the vote to the House floor this week under ``suspension,'' a procedure that allows bills to come up for limited debate and requires two-thirds vote for passage.

On Monday, the Humane Society of the United States wrote to House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, asking for such a vote.

``Chairman Sensenbrenner is doing the bidding of dogfighting and cockfighting interests, and it shouldn't be tolerated,'' wrote the group's president, Wayne Pacelle.

Last week, two sponsors of the Senate version, Nevada Republican John Ensign and Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum, wrote to Boehner with the same request. They cited their concerns about animal cruelty, violence and criminal conduct associated with animal fights, and the spread of bird flu in cockfights as reasons to pass the bill. The Senate passed the legislation last year.

Proponents want a vote this week, before the House adjourns for midterm elections.

In a statement, Sensenbrenner said he opposes animal fighting but that Congress should spend its remaining days on more important issues, such as border security, terrorist tribunals, and updating foreign intelligence surveillance laws.

``Trying to ram-through animal fighting legislation with these issues outstanding would win the prize for 'misplaced priorities,''' he said.

Green, a candidate for governor, declined an interview request but provided brief written answers to questions Monday.

``I am supportive of getting this bill passed as soon as possible,'' he said. ``I've spoken with the chairman and we don't agree on the importance of this issue.''

One of Green's chief co-sponsors, California Republican Elton Gallegly, rejected Sensenbrenner's argument that time was better spent on more pressing needs.

``We'll probably be naming post offices for people 99 percent of us have never heard of,'' he said, referring to bills passed under suspension.

``This issue goes well beyond animal fighting,'' added Gallegly, who said he has urged Boehner to bring the bill up for a vote. ``So much of cockfighting is tied to illegal immigration, money laundering and drug running.''

Boehner's spokesman, Kevin Madden, said no decision has been made yet about scheduling a vote on the bill.

It is already illegal to ship animals for fighting to the United States and across state lines, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The proposed legislation would make the violation a felony, with jail time of up to two years.


Cockfighting is banned in every state except Louisiana and New Mexico, and dogfighting is banned in every state.

---

On the Net:

Information on the bill, H.R. 817, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/

No comments:

Search for More Content

Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

Past Articles